Does it feel like forever since you’ve been intimate with your partner?
Here are some ways to feed a sex-starved marriage.
Before deciding if your relationship is actually starved for sex, let’s look at how often is normal? Do you remember that split-screen scene in the movie Annie Hall? Click on the link below to see how your point of view influences the way you feel.
Are you thinking, “hardly ever–maybe three times per week” or “constantly–maybe three times per week”?
Recent research shows that happily married couples make love on the average of once per week. Researchers found that couples who have sex more often than that are not necessarily happier. The new study, based on surveys of more than 30,000 Americans gathered over 40 years, found that having sex more frequently than once a week was not associated with greater well being.
If you are one of those less happy couples having sex less than once per week, here are some tips for you to incorporate:
Share household chores and responsibilities. Believe it or not, you’ll have more desire to have physical intimacy with a spouse who feels like a partner.
Women especially tend to shut off if feelings of anger and resentment have seeped. This is bound to happen if the division of labor is unequal. Especially with young children, women tend to take on more responsibility for the house and kids. Not sexy!
Make time to relax and be present. This means scheduling a date night to be alone together, without children or media distractions. Go for a walk or out to dinner. Make a rule to talk about the children for only the first 10 minutes.
Put your phones on silent or leave them at home. Remember how it felt to be dating and romantic.
Do something different. Brain research has shown that novelty produces erotic interest and excitement. Leave the lights on, make love in a different room, take a trip.
Many couples tell me that their sexiest nights are in hotel rooms–everything neat and clean and no dishes calling from the kitchen! Introduce a little real or perceived danger into your sexual play.
Account for differences in libido. Sometimes partners differ in how much sex they crave. (Back to Annie Hall) If your partner wants sex more often than you, consider putting sex on your schedule. Then, set the tone.
Take a warm bath or shower, light some fragrant candles and put on some soft music. You might enjoy a glass of wine to relax. Desire often follows arousal, so allow your partner to arouse you.
Evaluate what’s right for you. It’s important for you to talk to your spouse about your particular needs and desires as a couple. Spend some time discussing your value system and the rhythm of your life. Do what works for the two of you.
Your sex life might ebb and flow following the demands of your current circumstances. Be sure neither of you is actually feeling sex-starved.
Try these ideas to feed a sex-starved marriage. But first, be sure you actually have one.
This blog post was written by Mary Kay Cocharo, LMFT.
I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in West Los Angeles, California. I have 30 years of experience working with individuals, couples, and families. I have two advanced certifications in working with couples: Imago Relationship Therapy and Encounter-centered Couples Therapy.
I work with spouses and parents to deepen communication, resolve conflict and rediscover the joy of being together. In addition to private sessions in my Los Angeles office, I am also passionate about leading workshops for Engaged Couples. With years of experience in premarital counseling, I am happy to offer an Imago based workshop entitled, Start Right, Stay Connected. I also facilitate a Weekend Couples Retreat, Over the Bridge, for couples wanting profound transformation. For couples who desire deep, intensive, quick resolution in a private setting, I also offer one and two-day Private Intensives.
I have also been active throughout my career in educating and training students and interns to become practicing therapists. I have taught and supervised at various universities and training sites around Los Angeles. Prior to coming to California, I served as a team therapist and supervisor at Houston Child Guidance Center working with children and troubled adolescents. I have given numerous workshops and presentations, taught graduate courses, and supervised many interns on their way to becoming licensed.
I am an active member of the California Association for Marriage and Family Therapists, Los Angeles Association for Marriage and Family Therapists, IMAGO Relationship Institute, and the Southern California IMAGO Institute. I am a Master Encounter-centered Couples Therapist. I am active in various spiritual settings and community endeavors. I love my profession and truly enjoy helping others to heal, grow, develop a heightened state of well-being and create more love and peace in their lives.
Several years ago, I co-founded The Conversation Group, an organization of like-minded licensed and pre-licensed therapists. We work with you in a very safe and collaborative way to create conversations that open up paths to clarity, insight, and healing which can motivate movement toward the life you desire. Join our Facebook page for daily meditations and healing quotations.